Kitware has received a $13,883,314 contract from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a software system capable of automatically and interactively discovering actionable intelligence from wide area motion imagery (WAMI) of complex urban, suburban, and rural environments.
The primary information elements in WAMI data are moving entities in the context of roads, buildings, and other scene features. These entities, while exploitable, often yield fragmented tracks in complex urban environments due to occlusions, stops, and other factors. Kitware’s software system will use algorithmic solutions to associate tracks and then identify and integrate local events to detect potential threats and perform forensic analysis.
The developed algorithms will form the basis of a software prototype called the Persistent Stare Exploitation and Analysis System (PerSEAS) that will significantly augment an end-user’s ability to discover novel intelligence using models of activities, normalcy, and context. Since the vast majority of events are normal and pose no threat, the models must cross-integrate singular events to discover relationships and anomalies that are indicative of suspicious behavior or match previously learned – or defined – threat activity.
The advanced PerSEAS system will markedly improve an analyst’s ability to handle burgeoning WAMI data and reduce the time required to perform many current exploitation tasks, greatly enhancing the military’s capability to analyze and utilize the data for forensic analysis and through the issuance of timely threat alerts with a minimal number of false alarms.
Due to the complex, multi-disciplinary nature of the research, Kitware will partner with academic experts in the fields of computer vision, probabilistic reasoning, machine learning and other related domains. Phase I of the research is expected to be completed in two years.
The awarded contract will expand Kitware’s leadership in the field of computer vision, video analysis and advanced visualization software. The project will build upon our previous DARPA-sponsored research into content-based video retrieval on the VIRAT program; anomaly detection on the PANDA program; and the recognition of complex multi-agent activities in video.
To meet the PerSEAS program’s needs, Kitware has assembled a world-class team including four leading defense technology companies, Northrop Grumman Corporation, ; Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions Laboratories, Aptima, Inc., and Navia, Inc. As well as multiple internationally-renowned research institutions, including: the University of California, Berkeley; Computer Vision Laboratory, University of Maryland; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; the Computer Vision Lab at the University of Central Florida; the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and its affiliated Center for Robotics & Intelligent Machines; and Columbia University.